We have used the z-scan technique at a wavelength (532 nm) near the transmission window of bulk gold to measure the nonlinear absorption coefficient of continuous approximately 50-Å-thick gold films, deposited onto surface-modified quartz substrates. For highly absorbing media such as metals, we demonstrate that determination of either the real or imaginary part of the third-order susceptibility requires a measurement of both nonlinear absorption and nonlinear refraction, i.e., both open- and closed-aperture z scans must be performed. Closed-aperture z scans did not yield a sufficient signal for the determination of the nonlinear refraction. However, open-aperture z scans yielded values ranging from to in good agreement with predictions which ascribe the nonlinear response to a Fermi smearing mechanism. We note that the sign of the nonlinearity is reversed from that of gold nanoparticle composites, in accordance with the predictions of mean field theories.
z-scan measurement of the nonlinear absorption of a thin gold film
David D. Smith, Youngkwon Yoon, Robert W. Boyd, Joseph K. Campbell, Lane A. Baker, Richard M. Crooks, Michael George; z-scan measurement of the nonlinear absorption of a thin gold film. J. Appl. Phys. 1 December 1999; 86 (11): 6200–6205. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.371675
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